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Do., 24. Sept.


Zoom Talk

TALK: Daniel Ross (PhD Candidate, University of Illinois; UC Riverside)

Title: A preliminary typology of Multi-Verb Constructions across "Khoisan" Time: 15:00 (UTC) Botswana/Germany/Namibia/South Africa 17:00 (UTC +2), Angola/Portugal 16:00 (UTC +1), Arizona 8:00 (UTC -7), Japan 00:00 (UTC +9)


24. Sept. 2020, 17:00

Zoom Talk



In this talk, I consider the distribution of multi-verb constructions in Khoisan languages from a typological perspective. Interestingly, like the shared feature of click consonants, there are similarities in the multi-verb constructions in these languages, which cut across genetic groupings, but also vary within them, suggesting potential contact effects. (The similarities are generally absent from neighboring Bantu languages.)

In particular, I consider pseudocoordination, which is relatively common among these languages (Ross 2016), despite being a feature best known from European languages (e.g. English "go and get" or "try and do"). Serial verb constructions are also widespread, and the typology applied distinguishes between form and function, such that pseudocoordination differs from SVCs by the presence of a linker, but otherwise is functionally similar. This in turn may shed some light on so-called junctures in some languages, and may suggest an etymological relationship with coordinators.

In contrast to earlier comparative studies on multi-verb constructions (e.g. Haacke 2014), the focus of this talk is broadly typological, with a goal of presenting preliminary distributions of different forms of multi-verb constructions found in each of the major documented Khoisan languages (e.g. Brenzinger 2013). Feedback and discussion will be welcomed to refine and expand this survey.


Brenzinger, Matthias. 2013. The twelve modern Khoisan languages. In Alena Witzlack-Makarevich & Martina Ernszt (eds.), Khoisan Languages and Linguistics: Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium, July 6-10, 2008, Riezlern/Kleinwalsertal, 1–31. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.

Haacke, Wilfrid H. G. 2014. Verb serialisation in northern dialects of Khoekhoegowab: Convergence or divergence? In Tom Güldemann & Anne-Maria Fehn (eds.), Beyond "Khoisan": Historical relations in the Kalahari Basin, 125–152. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Ross, Daniel. 2016. Between coordination and subordination: Typological, structural and diachronic perspectives on pseudocoordination. In Fernanda Pratas, Sandra Pereira & Clara Pinto (eds.), Coordination and Subordination: Form and Meaning — Selected Papers from CSI Lisbon 2014, 209–243. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.

Time: 15:00 (UTC) (Germany/Botswana/Namibia/South Africa 17:00 (UTC +2), Angola/Portugal 16:00 (UTC +1), California/Arizona 8:00 (UTC -7), Japan 00:00 (UTC +9)

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